Do What You Love

When my body hurts I tend to recoil away from and against the pain.  This was the coping mechanism that I glommed onto at an early age.  For the huge majority of my life I felt like pain was a bad thing... the enemy to be gotten rid of and stopped at all costs.  I still struggle with living the philosophy that pain is my teacher, my body telling me something important.

It's easy for me to understand this concept when I'm not in pain, and it's a completely different story when I'm in it.  I am getting better at it, albeit slowly.  Quick back story: I've been living with chronic pain since I was 15, thanks to my dare devil adrenaline junky ways and high propensity for carving turns, going really fast and getting as much air as possible.  Although I was adept at the activities (skateboarding, skiing, surfing, bmx, motocross, etc.) I was also pushing my limits... so when I crashed I crashed hard!  The list of injuries and traumas is too long to list here, but suffice it to say that I've been paying for that fun ever since.

Lately I've been in more pain than usual.  One of the side effects is depression.  It's so interesting to me how I can go from feeling good physically and emotionally, to hurting and depressed almost instantly.  I simply haven't learned how to 'get over it' or pretend it's not affecting me.  Let's just say that this last week+ I've had a difficult time getting out of bed.

As things generally go in my life, when I most need a wake up call- BAM! -there it is.  Usually it's in the form of some kind of shining example of how blessed and fortunate I am... something to nudge me back to center and remind me to focus on what I want, not on what I don't want.  Yesterday it came into my inbox from my friend, Jeremy.  

Jeremy P. McGhee is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know.  After a motorcycle accident he has been living with paraplegia.  He has the best, most upbeat and positive attitude and is on a serious mission.  Jeremy inspires folks to DO WHAT THEY LOVE. He sent me a link to his latest public speaking engagement.

At a recent TedX talk in San Diego Jeremy spoke to over 600 people about his experience of living his mission... doing what he loves.  He manifested an incredible crew of people to team up and support him in joining them atop Bloody Couloir, so he could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with them.  Bloody is a +12,000' peak in the backcountry of the Eastern Sierra Mountains.  Not only did he make it to his goal and eat PB&J's with his friends at the summit, Jeremy then skied down Bloody on his sit ski!

Did I mention Jeremy has no use of his legs?  

Even if you don't need inspiration, the TedX talk is great.  When you have 15 minutes check it out: click on the link below his picture. You can also find his website under my Favorites tab.  Click on Jeremy P. McGhee.

My pain didn't magically disappear, but I was able to say YES to my niece who asked me for a Watsu because she's been in pain.  This afternoon I was able to use the amazing energy of Jeremy to get out of my funk and be there for my loved one.  I've said it before and I still believe it... we're all in this together.


Jeremy P. McGhee, "Do What You Love."

Thunder Heads and Rain

I am feeling blessed yet again with the opportunity to be at Rancho la Puerta for a week of Watsu, music, guests and weather!  This week I've been honored and privileged to be able to serve an 80 year young grandmother and her collegiate granddaughter with Watsu sessions.  Grandma received first and had a profound experience, stating, "I have never experienced anything like that.  I can't comprehend it."

Her kind and sweet granddaughter arrived just before the session was complete with papaya smoothies for all of us.  Grandma was so pleased with her experience that she offered her loved one the gift of a session!  Aquatic Bodywork can be a very transformative experience.  'Erica' also very much enjoyed her treatment and we talked about the experience from both of our perspectives.

"I recently got certified in scuba diving, so I had the image of kelp flowing in the currents.  I felt like a mermaid!"  'Erica' was inquisitive and insightful, curious and observant in her conversation.  I very much enjoy doing my best to explain what is happening when I facilitate an Aquatic Bodywork session.  One thing I repeatedly state is that it's impossible to capture the essence of the experience with words... that words cannot do it justice.

During our conversation 'Erica' said, "You obviously love what you do."

This much I know is true.

Today two clients cancelled due to the thunder heads and rain.  Although I would've kept my appointment if I were receiving, I understand.  Me? I took the opportunity to be out in it.  My first Watsu experience was at Harbin Hot Springs; in Northern California, in the winter, at night, under very large drops of cold rain while being floated in very warm water... I LOVED it!  That experience changed my life, truly.  It was a sample, a quickie.  In under 5 minutes I relaxed more and my body let go more than I ever had on any massage table for an hour!  I knew this was it... profound, deeply transformative and effective Aquatic Bodywork.  

Why the pomegranate?  Because it's one of the beautiful things I see here at my office.   enJoy!

Early Opening, Poolside Pomegranate

Au Revoir Sobrino

Today my nephew left the only home he's ever known to enter his Freshman year of college in Santa Barbara, CA.  After a very full summer, with a new tattoo that we co-designed, and a recent trip to Minnesota for a family reunion under his belt, he had a party last night.  His friends arrived to wrap up the summer, help send him off- and pack.  I landed at the airport, got dinner, picked up my car and went over for a quick visit.  It was a truly beautiful scene with his and his sister's friends, and their parents, there to enjoy their last night together... of this era.

My nephew has been blessed to grow up and bond with a group of boys since he was in preschool!  It's quite amazing to see these young men now after a lifetime together in school, playing sports, traveling, playing... even staying connected while attending different high schools.  There were other young men and women there as well who have come into the fold throughout the years.  I can definitely appreciate this as I am blessed with friends from as early as 4 years old, preschool, grade school, high school, etc. on up until the present!

The other nice thing is that his younger sister, who's entering her Sophomore year of high school, and he are best friends.  Their two groups of friends naturally blend into one beautiful, joyous and raucous laughter.  I love how close and loving my niece and nephew have always been with each other and trust that their bond is forever.

Things will absolutely change in the home and in the dorms.  One move and everyone is affected.    There is no telling what will happen in their family, as there is no telling what will happen in the future for anyone.  (With all due respect to the prophets and psychics out there.)  I'm excited for him because I know he is excited for himself.  He's an amazing person in so many ways and I'm very proud of him!

As I hugged him last night he had a big smile on his face.  He looked at me and said, "Thank you for everything, Tio.  I love you."  I love my 18 year old nephew and I am honored to have been able to be there for him when I could.

G Paddling Into Life

From Dolphins to Montana

Here we go... this morning I was blessed to be able to wake up before sunrise. Unusual for me as I've historically been a night owl.  I can indeed wake up for dawn patrol surf sessions.  I got to meet my brother, cousin (who is visiting from Minnesota- btw, he surfs Lake Superior out of Duluth, MN, in the fall and winter! Hardcore) and 2 childhood friends at 'Mouse's' in Mission Beach, San Diego.  The waves were not great, the jelly fish were prolific and it was a bit chilly.  But the water was wet, the connections were wonderful and we got to surf with the dolphins! Love them.  Love surfing with them.

In a little bit I will be boarding a plane and heading to Bozeman, Montana.  Haven't been to BZMT for quite a while now.  I'm going mainly to visit my dear old friend who recently had some bladder cancer removed.  Although the prognosis looks good (he rode his motorcycle to work the day after his surgery!) I wanted to take the opportunity to visit while I could.  Looking forward to catching up, playing music, camping in the mountains under the big sky, soaking in the hot springs, swimming in the river, riding bikes, etc.

Gotta run and finish the final details pre departure. Cheers!

Beauty is Everywhere